About Eola Hills

Jim Huggins, Vineyard Manager

A 1975 graduate of Oregon State University, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and Resource Recreation Management, Jim’s foray into the wine business began in 1982 when he joined ranks with his brother, Tom, in developing 67 acres at Oak Grove Vineyards, near the town of Rickreall, 10 miles south of Salem.

Suddenly, Jim was not only in on a ground floor opportunity, but he also received part ownership…“the best of both worlds,” he would later say.

From Oak Grove, the next stop in Jim’s journey was as an owner/operator with James & Sons Vineyard Management Company. This would eventually lead to Jim’s return as manager/director at Oak Grove, a sister company of Eola Hills.

For the past 21 years, Jim has led the charge in managing Eola’s vineyard assets. He heads a staff of six that has a combined experience of over 100 years in all phases of vineyard development, management, and maintenance, which involves over 400 acres in Oregon’s internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir growing region, the Willamette Valley.

Currently requiring much of Jim’s attention is the Eola Hills “Legacy Vineyard” project. This acreage bore its first fruit two years ago.

“I learned many years ago that in order to grow the perfect grape, it needs to be planted in the optimum growing region. Climatically speaking, Pinot Noir is ideally suited with most regions of the Willamette Valley—the Eola Hills being no exception. Today, we grow or source our fruit from six unique AVA’s throughout Oregon. We grow our grapes on eight different rootstocks. We produce Pinot from 14 different clones. Our grapes are either grown or sourced from over a dozen unique soil types. We grow or source fruit from eight unique trellis systems, from ultra-high density to “old world” plantings. Elevations are from 250’ to 2,000’. As we have matured as grape growers and winemakers, wisdom has allowed us to refine our craft.  Nature only allows us to produce vintages that will be remembered for years to come. 2012 may just be the next great one from Oregon!”

—Jim Huggins, Vineyard Manager